Humor takes the sting out of…well…the sting. And while political and advocacy ads were once heralded for taking down opponents with a chainsaw, today humor is often much more powerful and moving. Humor can also help a positive or response message cut through in a more memorable way. Below are examples of how we’ve used humor.
“Scott Walker ❤️ the state airplane.”
In 2018 we used humor to hit Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on his use of the state airplane.
To rehabilitate his image, Walker had used the state plane to fly across the state – including flights that were just 24 miles long.
We knew from polling this was a critical issue to move a key target group of persuadable voters. We used humor to make the hit more memorable.
“Nothing like a big heel crushing scurrying cockroaches to break through the political ad clutter.”
In New Mexico’s race for Secretary of State we knew we had to do something different to cut through all the ad clutter on television. Maggie Toulouse Oliver had just been elected to office in a special election two years prior due to the fact that the former Secretary of State had gone to jail. We needed a memorable spot about the great things Maggie was doing to clean up politics in New Mexico – including shining a light on dark money special interests.
“A lot of people are shooting at me…”
In the ad above Governor Barnes was being attacked by so many entities it was impossible to respond to every charge. So we bundled all the opponents into one unseemly package and answered en masse. Governor Barnes was known to raise cattle so a few “moos” helped…
If you can’t deliver a message in 15 seconds you usually need a tighter message.
You can say a lot in just 15 seconds if you don’t try to say too much. If done right, 15-second ads can deliver a powerful punch to help boost name ID while delivering a simple concept or message. Often in down ballot races 15-second ads can be a powerful tool in your arsenal to make your media budget go twice as far (they’re half the price of 30-second ads).
The key to effective 15-second advertising is to not try to force the ads to deliver 30 seconds worth of material. The concept and message must be incredibly simple. If you do that, 15’s can move numbers and help you win.
In the spot above, we used the most of 15-seconds to deliver a message on Garrett VeneKlasen’s plan to expand wind energy in New Mexico… and did so with a touch of humor.